Preserving By The Pint: Caramelized Shallot Jam + A Winner!

preserving-by-the-pintYou all know that Marisa has published a new book, right? Preserving By The Pint: Quick Seasonal Canning for Small Spaces, was published by Running Press last month. I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy for review and I’ve been paging through it ever since.

There was still snow, and lots of it, on the ground when I got my copy. Paging through the “Spring” section, with a steaming cup of coffee and a warm woolen blanket, such gems as fava bean, walnut & parsley pesto, marinated sugar snap peas with ginger & mint and oven-roasted rhubarb compote had me drooling and craving the first buds of Spring. A month later, and the promise of warmer weather to come has me dreaming of nectarine jam with lemon verbena & honey, black plum chutney and salt-preserved herbs.

There’s so much to love about this book: not only is it the same great quality that you’ve come to expect from Marisa’s first book, the seminal Food In Jars, with fabulous photography, clean and easy-to-navigate recipe layouts, and a great use of color and pattern, but the small-batch format seems to open us up to more adventurous flavor combinations and exotic ingredients, all while staying true to a local-seasonal ethic. Dare I say, the more I look through Preserving By The Pint, the more I think I might like this one even more than Food In Jars: strong praise indeed!.


Despite my Spring & Summer seasonal lust, the produce in New York in April still carries a distinctly wintery air: ramps are here (finally!) and perhaps some scallions and the first cold-hearty greens, but little else that we haven’t seen all winter long. There are still storage onions of all kinds, however, and the shallots at today’s farmer’s market still looked great. Caramelized shallot jam it is!

I made no real changes to Marisa’s recipe, other than to let my shallots caramelize a bit more slowly (because I’m lazy, and I don’t want to have to stand over them and stir, I keep them on super-low heat and only stir once every 10 – 15 minutes) and to add an extra half-tablespoon of sugar at the end, as my balsamic was a bit sharp. Tai & I have been devouring it for the last two hours, smeared on Wave Hill bread and topped with Nettle Meadown Kunik, a lovely triple crème goat brie whose mellow funk goes perfectly with the sweet-tangy gloriously flavorful shallot jam.

Running Press has been kind enough to offer up one copy of Preserving By The Pint as a giveaway to a Local Kitchen reader. Simply leave a comment below by 11:59 pm on Wednesday, April 30th, telling me what small-batch canning experiment you’d like to try this season. And, if you don’t win the giveaway, all I can say is: buy the book. You won’t regret it. Good luck and happy canning!

random82Congratulations to Michele, lucky commenter # 82, for winning the copy of Preserving By The Pint! Michele, Running Press will get your copy out to you soon! Thanks to everyone for sharing their small-batch canning dreams with us. If you didn’t win, I hope you’ll consider checking out PbtP: it’s a worthy addition to any home-canner’s library.

Disclosure: Running Press provided a free review copy to me and will send a giveaway copy to a reader. This would not inspire me to write a positive review if I did not like the book, but as Marisa is a personal friend, even if her book was crap I’d probably lie and find something nice to say. Luckily for me (and you), I don’t have to lie: the book is fabulous in every way. Peace out.

Caramelized shallot jam recipe adapted (barely) from Preserving By The Pint: Quick Seasonal Canning for Small Spaces by Marisa McClellan

preserving-by-the-pint3-560preserving-by-the-pintCaramelized Shallot Jam


  • 1 lb shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp fine-grained sea salt
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar (I use raw)
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh rosemary
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ⅔ cup balsamic vinegar


  1. In a large skillet, melt butter over low heat. Add sliced shallots; stir to coat. Sprinkle salt and sugar: stir again to mix. Sauté over lowest heat, stirring occasionally, until deeply browned and volume is reduced by at least half, about 60 – 90 minutes. Add a splash of water during cooking if shallots begin to stick.
  2. Add rosemary, pepper and vinegar. Raise heat to medium-high and sauté, stirring constantly, until vinegar is reduced and shallots do not look at all watery. Store refrigerated in a clean jar.

Yields about 1 pint.


  1.  I caramelized my shallots very slowly, for a minimum of stirring during the process. You can speed things up by raising the heat a bit and stirring more diligently: if so, you should be able to reduce & brown the shallots in about 35 – 40 minutes, as stated in Marisa’s original recipe.


Refrigerated for up to 1 month. Frozen for up to 6 months.




  1. Ooh this looks amazing, we ran out of our storage onions but I will definitely be making this when shallots come back around!

    I found a recipe for pickled edamame that I’m really excited to try. We normally freeze all of ours but I think pickled ones (especially with some asian influences) would be a great way to store them and add flavor to stir fries all year long. Yum!

  2. Erin

    We’re a little family of 3, so I would love to use this cookbook! I am just beginning with canning so even the basics feel adventurous to me!

  3. Dave Bricker

    This recipe looks awesome, and i can see me making this in the future. This year i have plans to try a spicy blueberry compote. I found a recipe and will be adding and subtracting items as usual to suit my needs….. What??? a recipe is just a start, you need to make it your own!! This is what cooking is all about 😉

  4. Robyn

    I would like to try more sweet savory combos, cherry thyme, strawberry rosemary…etc looking for inspiration from the new book 🙂

  5. Wow…just the titles of all the recipes you mentioned have me salivating! And I really love that it is specifically talking about canning in small spaces. I have the tiniest kitchen…well, for China, it’s actually not too bad. But I can touch all four walls without taking a step, so I would suppose this is right up my alley! I especially like the idea of oven-roasted rhubarb compote and the salt preserved herbs. But I can think of dozens of things I’d like to try to preserve this summer. Many fruits and vegetables are only available for very short times here, no going to the grocery store and getting whatever you like…I buy from small vendors on bikes, ladies carrying two baskets on a pole, or sitting on the sidewalk, with a mound of fruit on the ground in front of them, etc. I just love that this book is talking small spaces, small amounts! All my memories of canning with my Mom and Grandma, involve cases and cases of jars, and the large farm kitchen with gleaming cabinets. Just the idea of this book is inspiring me!

  6. vanyadhanya

    I found a recipe for watermelon jam and this is my next canning experiment for the season. It would be a lovely experience to savour some homemade jams.

  7. kelli heidtmann

    cranberry chutney in winter…pickled asparagus in spring…blueberry jam and/or pickled…pumpkin butter in fall…and so much more of every seasons bounty can go in a jar…I also love to make pies in jars, especially chicken pot pie

  8. purplefdu

    Definitely something savory. I’m not sure I’ll like then out the hubs will eat them, so not more than a pint or two would be needed. The onion jams, or even a spicy chutney.

  9. Natalie

    I really want to try chutney of some kind. In the summer I love just throwing veggies in a pan for a quick stir fry but I always want more flavor. I’d love to have something in a jar to add when I need a quick flavor kick for weeknight meals.

  10. Eileen Prisby

    I made small batch bread and butter pickles last year with great success, and want to try the same with pickled cauliflower and/or brussel sprouts this year. Small batch canning is great for experimenting with new flavors!

  11. Wow that looks really good, but I’m hoping to start the year off with some pineapple preserves. I received a canning set as a gift several years ago from my older brother, and have never even opened the box. I have this crazy weird premonition of breaking glass, scalding the skin off of my face, and more than likely poisoning several people. Maybe this is the year to get over those crazy fears!

  12. Jean

    I’d like to try some pickled asparagus this year. I always miss the local stuff for pickling so maybe this year I can be ready for it! And of course would love to explore this book.

  13. Laura Day

    A couple of my favorites are from Food in Jars. Her creamsicle jam that uses cantaloupe and vanilla beans is delicious. In the fall I make half pint jars of her cranberry apple jam. It is great in a simple apple tart. I would like to try some of the savory jams and relishes. That is the beauty of her books, small batches are less intimidating when trying something new.

  14. Several months ago, I had the best vidalia onion jam in Washington DC and I’ve been dying to recreate it ever since. Just recently, we had a different kind of onion jam in Rome, and the interest resparked. I definitely want to try this shallot jam! Thanks for the recipe!

  15. Megan

    Salt preserved herbs sound exciting! I really enjoyed making jams last year. This year I would like to experiment with some more savoury jams – this one would be a great start!

  16. One word…Yum! I adore slowly roasted onions and shallots. This recipe reminds me of a recipe I picked up while living in Hawaii for Maui onion jam, but now I live in northern Illinois and long for a day of warm sun and fresh produce. I was so excited to see ramps this weekend at the Dane County Farmer’s Market in Madison, Wisconsin it reminded me that no matter what the thermometer says Mother Nature is still doing her thing. Thanks for all your great posts.

  17. I love books that are small batches, it’s only my husband and I so I don’t need to can lot. I would love to try the shallot jam it looks amazing. Thanks for the opportunity to own this book!

  18. I would (first) try the caramelized shallot jam that you did. I went nuts buying onion jam a while back without knowing what to do with it and just kept it lying around. Finally I decided to use it up and then found so many (amazing) things to do with it that I ran out. I have always done a little canning but went nuts last year and am looking forward to things growing in Wisconsin, which is even behind New York (violet jelly or pickled asparagus will probably be may first efforts). Love your blog BTW.

  19. Jenny K.

    I’m looking forward to trying different types of pickles this year; specifically, tiny Mexican sour gherkin pickles & fermented cucumber pickles. We still have enough jam to get us through the next year – once I add in a few jars of our favorite mulberry rhubarb jam!

  20. SJ Smith

    Please enter me in the book giveaway contest. I’d love to try more of the recipes and hopefully become even more inspired to try new things. I love the thought of smaller batches; especially sweet things.
    Two reasons:
    First, I can use smaller harvests from the garden, and continue to enjoy the harvest longer. Lately, I’ve been planting a much larger variety of edibles in smaller quantities and trying more herbs; so that we eat more of what I grow as freshly as possible. By doing this, I can experiment with more varieties too.
    Secondly, the family is smaller now; so when I can up a whole canner load, it can last 3 or 4 years. I prefer to go through things in less than two year cycles.
    Off topic, but perhaps helpful to others in similar gardening conditions: The big successes this Winter/Spring in a low desert environ has been chamomile, bergamont (makes the best tea!), cilantro, parsley, chocolate mint, oregano, calendula, all sorts of leaf lettuce, short day onions, provider bush beans, peas, asparagus, chard, celery, kale, cardoon (need to learn how to cook), and even potatoes. And, some warm weather crops are in, which make me anticipate their harvests: romano pole beans, tomatoes, peppers, pumpkins, beets, sweet potatoes, and hopefully some canary melons and watermelon (melons are iffy this year because of low germination rates. Perhaps my hen is eating the seeds I plant? ha-ha) I am considering planting one more round of lettuce; since the whole Winter climate was unusually warm (a few tomato and pepper plants never died off since we didn’t get much frost)… perhaps we’ll get a longer Spring? I figure it’s only the cost of a pkt of seeds, and I have better odds of success with a $1 in seeds than with a lottery ticket. ha-ha. Oh, I almost forgot. I have been trying to naturalize shallots on my property. So… this recipe is a Can Do. he-he.

  21. I tried preserving food for the first time last year using veggies making pickles, salsa, etc. I would love to get into fruit a little bit more and experiment with jams. I also would love to get into making Kim Chi because it is so good! The caramelized shallots look great too!

  22. KarenV

    I need to do a small batch of something rhubarb this season. Never good when you let the good stuff go too long and it becomes only good for compost.

  23. Meg S

    The oven-roasted rhubarb compote sounds amazing – I had a delicious rhubarb shortcake the other day that I cannot stop thinking of so anything rhubarb sounds good to me!

  24. I’m into “savory with a little sweet flavor” combos, so I’d be down to try the shallot jam you featured in today’s post since caramelized savories are high on my list of things I wish I could stockpile in case of a nuclear holocaust.

  25. Denise Bolton

    I’m pretty keen to try the caramelized shallot jam- I’ve been wanting to make some to spread on top of Scottish Oatcakes. After that my preserving dreams turn entirely towards rhubarb, my favourite crop. I’m an apartment dweller, so I can’t grow my own, but I made a solemn pact with myself this year to buy as much as I wanted- enough for pie AND a whole world of rhubarb preserves.

  26. gingini

    I made this earlier and it’s absolutely deliciious! Looking forward to canning tomatoes and making jams this summer…it’s one of my passions!

  27. Harriet Cansino

    This jam looks so tasty! I’m going to make dandelion jam this year, they’re perfect to pick in the spring. I’ve been meaning to do it forever!

  28. Cece

    This looks amazing! I’d like to try some different pickles this year. Fermented kimchee, pickles watermelon rind, daikon….I love pickles so hopefully these will be successes!

  29. Taryn

    I love making small batches of jam with different herbs and spices, and the nectarine jam with lemon verbena & honey sounds perfect!

  30. Ooh, this shallot jam sounds so intriguing! I bet it would be fantastic in a grilled cheese sandwich with spicy mustard. I definitely want to try a few small batch jams this summer–maybe something in the plum and cinnamon area? Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

  31. I have an excellent source for local blueberries, and everyone in my family loves blueberry fill-in-the-blank. But blueberry doesn’t seem like a great opportunity for small batch preservation since it’s so easy to do a larger batch (minimal prep/cook time). Small batch – I’d like to try my hand at a spicy pickled relish to go with eggs and beans.

  32. Oh my, that shallot jam looks divine! At least once a year I do a big batch of caramelized onions to put in the freezer. It’s so nice to be able to add a bit to other recipes without having to slow down to make them. I’m with you, I do them very slowly (I always laugh at cooking shows that say you can caramelize onions in 10-15 minutes). I stir them when I walk through the kitchen, but find it isn’t really important until the very end of the process. Usually takes me a few hours to do 10 pounds of onions, but I can do lots of other stuff while they cook and I’m set for quite a while. And they are fantastic stirred into soup or whatever else I’m cooking. And I always have a little pile of them on good bread when they are ready to put in the freezer.

  33. Emily

    I’ve just started canning this winter, so the first thing on my list for the summer is just straight strawberry jam from berries fresh from the market!

  34. I am really, really intrigued by the idea of salt-preserving herbs, and what can be done with them after preservation. Are they salty? How herby? So curious!

  35. Whenever the Spring produce decides to arrive in Nova Scotia, I’d love to experiment with pickled ramps. We’re a big fan of pickles over here and quick pickle by the pint on the regular. But I’d love to gain more inspiration from the master herself. And salt preserved herbs sound freaking awesome.

    Also, I gave a wee shoutout to Preserving by the Pint in a presentation on getting the most from your food at a local trade and leisure show. Here’s to spreading seasonal love and ensuring our preserving skills live on.

  36. monica

    I bought this book, as soon as it was on Amazon, for my older daughter. Now, I want it for myself for the recipes of small tomato batches. I never know what to when I have too many to eat, but not enough to can several quarts

  37. Caroline

    that shallot jam looks fantastic! small batch projects I’m thinking about right now: pickled pearl onions, elderflower cordial, scallion greens kimchi (not canned but in a jar atleast…), wild grape jelly later in the summer… i’m sure there’s many more.

  38. Laurie Marr

    I took a couple of Marisa’s classes. I use her Food in Jars often! She has great ideas! I look forward to the new book and many more!

  39. Mary

    I would like to find something to do a small batch with mulberries. I have one small tree, and other than trying to gobble them up fresh, would be interesting to see what else there is 🙂 Of course I am going to have to try this recipe as well!! I love caramelized onions, so this should be a fav here as well 🙂

  40. Cheryl

    The canning gifts went over really well last Christmas, I think I’d like to go the route of more savory selections this time around as I wont really have to make conscious decisions about who is diabetic and who used Splenda and on and on. As long as there is no gluten involved, I should be able to rain on everyone’s parade this year.

  41. Kris H

    I would love this book! I do a lot of canning in big batches and I love the idea of trying new things in smaller batches. I’ve been thinking of trying to put up savory jam like the caramelized onion to go with my tomato jam. Thanks!

  42. Nancy

    A small batch featuring Asian pears would be good — they’re always a bit of a challenge. The recipe and cookbook look great!

  43. courtney

    Funny, your post about the shallot jam came by email but I clicked on this via twitter when I saw the givaway. I have a pound of shallots on my counter waiting right now!!

  44. amylou61

    I’d like to make this Caramelized Shallot Jam. It looks so yummy! I’d also like to try some other jam recipes I’ve seen, like vanilla pear jam and tomato jam. I can apple butter every autumn for gift-giving all year long. Homemade canned foods make great hostess gifts.

  45. Janet

    I saw what I think is the same recipe for pickled edamame that TheGirlandtheGoats mentioned and want to try that, but I also want to try something with rhubarb this year.

  46. Helaine Clesmere

    I’m just planting a garden for the first time in years on my deck this year. This book would be awesome to help with the small amounts that I’ll hopefully be getting from my containers. I’d love to do a small batch of tomato jam and maybe something yummy and pickled with beans or cucumbers.

  47. I began experimenting with pickled fruit in the form of cranberries and cherries (both from Food in Jars website!) last year, and I’m itching to try some more fruit pickling next year- perhaps gooseberries!

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